A Guide to Whistleblower Protection
Whistleblowers come in different sorts. There are whistleblowers who come out to expose wrongdoing, fraud, and corruption either in their own workplace or in positions of government, and are considered as heroes by many. There are also those who leak out information, but the result is that they get a bad name for themselves that no one wants to take them in for employment. Are you a whistle blower, or are you planning of becoming a whistle blower soon? You need to protect yourself, and below are some ways on how you can do so.
If a person reports, opposes, or refused to engage in the violation of laws, rules, or regulations, there are whistleblower laws that protect them. Whistleblower laws also protect people who don’t work overtime without pay, or who don’t want to violate environmental laws since they either care for the environment or merely for their own safety. These laws also protect people who report violations to government agencies, to the upper management, or to unions.
Not all complaints, however, are protected by whistle blower laws. The complaints that you will present should be a clear violation of laws or rules. If you are refusing to do something simply for personal reasons then this cannot be protected by the whistleblower laws. Sexual harassment complaints are protected by whistleblower laws while discrimination against employees is not.
If you report the wrongdoing to the wrong persons, then it can hurt your case when you are seeking protection from retaliation. The appropriate legal authority should be approached for the complaint. And if you wait for a long time before you come out and blow the whistle, your ability to sue can be affected by the statute of limitations, if it is already reached.
Whistleblowers should check first whether there is a valid lawsuit on your hands on the issues you are about to expose. There is an online site where you can learn more about whisteblowing.
It is important to make documentation of what you have done from the start. Document what you have seen, the time and the place it happened, and the specific people who were involved. You need to support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. Even while you are trying to report issues, you should keep on documenting everything. Try to report them within the chain of command before going over someone’s head. The proper chain of command in a company is to report you employer who is violating labor laws to his immediate superior.
You documentation is an important evidence, if you have to go to court with the matter.
Understanding what is and what whistle blowing is not is something that is very important.
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